Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

eBay Chatter - The changes have started, the changes have started!

Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2008, at 12:00 PM
View 22 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • The final value fees went up substantially more than the listing fees. Doesn't matter I rarely use ebay anymore since the whole price change awhile back. This will cause even more people to leave, bringing in the scammers since it is cheaper to list, they don't care about final cost since they don't even have an item to ship most of the time.

    -- Posted by Evil Monkey on Tue, Jan 29, 2008, at 4:04 PM
  • Scammers would not be affected by 20 or 30 cents if their object was to get in and get out. eBay has checks in place to hold down on that activity and over 99.9 percent of the exchanges are handled successfully.

    Not too many people get online to say how wonderful something is, instead it is the negatives that get the attention.

    Final value fees have gone up, but eBay is absorbing more of the upfront gamble because they believe more people will list and therefore more will sell. With lower listing fees, we, as a seller WILL list more.

    More items listed means more for the customer to look at and choose from. More listings means more competition, which often translated to more deals. In an article in Reuters yesterday the headline read: Study shows eBay buyers save billions http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUSN2742167120080128

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Jan 29, 2008, at 4:38 PM
  • How do they save money if the final value fee is higher? We are talking about 30% increase in fees. Here is an excerpt from Wired.com:

    "Under the old rules, for example, selling a purse at auction for $25 would have cost the seller $1.91, including 60 cents for listing the item plus eBay's commission of $1.31. Under the new structure, the seller would pay $2.74, including 55 cents to list the item plus a higher commission of $2.19."


    This is going to really make alot of regular ebay sellers leave.

    -- Posted by Evil Monkey on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 6:52 AM
  • The comment and article about saving was about buyers.

    The sellers benefit from not having to pay as much up-front fees. When we first started, we listed EVERYTHING but quickly learned that while we hit on a few things, all the others were costing us money.

    One big savings is for the Gallery picture. That is currently 35 cents and we use it all the time. Now instead of an average .75, it will cost .40.

    I never said eBay was not going to make money. I WANT THEM TO, so the selling platform stays healthy. We have had several 'brick and mortar' stores and believe me, the expense is MUCH MORE than what eBay charges. I only wish our cost of sales, labor, and facilities was 10-15 percent of our sales.

    Does that mean we will put all our eggs in eBay? Nope. We have websites and plan to expand to another, but eBay is an excellent platform for developing business.

    If you have developed web pages, you know how much work it takes to keep your site up in the top 10% of search engine results. That costs money as well. With eBay, I can list an item and find it in Google on the first page or two within usually 24 hours.

    On the example above they say the current listing would cost .60 but with Gallery it would have cost .95. That makes the difference about .48 cents. eBay takes more of a cut up from and makes it up if the item sells.

    Most of the Educations Specialist (who also are sellers) are talking more about the feedback changes than the pricing. More on that in s different blog.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 8:54 AM
  • Sorry, that was my mistake, I should have read it better. You are correct, you did mention buyers, not sellers. You understand my concerns though? I think it is going to add to much more work for ebay to reduce scammers etc though.

    The problem is, the sellers are Ebay's staple, not the buyers. For example, sellers pay an ebay fee and a paypal fee to sell something. Buyers do not have any fees to worry about. Ebay should reward their sellers with 95-100% feedback, no matter what the amount they sell with better final value fees. But what they are doing now is raising fees for the people that have made ebay a safe place to shop; but they reduce fees to the fly-by-night scammer.

    Alot of people feel the same way when you have established yourself as a upstanding merchant on ebay, then get fee hike after fee hike with no improvement or features. Doesn't it seem more cluttered with borders and pretty graphics instead of a nice easy-to-read interface like they had 9 years ago?

    -- Posted by Evil Monkey on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 11:38 AM
  • They are trying to reward good sellers, but you are right the discounts will go to Power Sellers. One plus for the good, occasional seller is that they will earn higher search results than folks with lower ratings.

    I know they are trying to allow people who have made mistakes start over by making the percentage only show for the last 12 months of sales, but that could also hurt the occasional seller who sells ten or twenty items but has one negative crop up. Now their feedback rating is in the dumps when if they averaged out among a few hundred it would look better. Double-edged change.

    I agree that people get too carried away with the trimmings on their listings. We occasionally put a border on when we are demonstrating for a class, but in general we keep things much more basic.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 1:00 PM
  • Your ebay store is fine. Just saying ebay in general. Look at their homepage.

    -- Posted by Evil Monkey on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 2:15 PM
  • Aaah, the eBay page. It can be downright intimidation with all the links, choices and side bars.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 2:46 PM
  • Steve, your site looks great! My wife is an ebayer. Who hosts your site and designed it? We have been looking at godaddy and yahoo for hers. Any thoughts on them?

    -- Posted by tdc on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 11:14 PM
  • tdc,

    What kind of html knowledge do you have? Beginner, advanced? Just curious.

    -- Posted by Evil Monkey on Wed, Jan 30, 2008, at 11:56 PM
  • tdc, we have our eBay selling site on eBay. Our other two sites are developed with Homestead. I also maintain two other websites using Coffee Cup.

    EM, My html ability is at the dangerous level. I get close but always need tweaking from a specialist, our daughter. She is self-taught but darn if she can not solve my tweaking issues over the phone, at least so far.

    I wanted to change one of my local sites in to a true commerce site, but don't have the confidence and knowledge to pull it off. I will probably be going to ProStores through eBay because it is independent of eBay but can still transfer data and sales info between the two.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 8:44 AM
  • Use OSCommerce, it is cheaper and you can customize with self-installing templates.

    -- Posted by Evil Monkey on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 11:22 AM
  • I will check it out. Here is the link for anyone wanting to look. http://www.oscommerce.com/

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 12:19 PM
  • Thanks Steve!

    EM, My HTML knowledge is absolute 0. My wifes is a little more than that, but not much. The yahoo page makes it look easy. Do you think we would be getting in over our heads with that?

    -- Posted by tdc on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 12:29 PM
  • I have not had a chance to evaluate it yet, but sure, you are going to feel like you are over your head, but it grows on you.

    I doubt that there will be any permanent damage even if you decide to stop.

    Plunge in! Well, take a dip. You should be able to preview your work before you actually post anything.

    If it costs money, slow down because there are many sites on html programming for free, at least to learn. Like I said, I have not looked it over yet.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 12:46 PM
  • I would offer my hosting services, but honestly they aren't ready yet. I am still working on it and I am offering OSCommerce, and it autoinstalls within your browser. Of course this is for people with little or no knowledge of HTML but want a highly customizable site to use your own graphics and fonts.

    I have used Prostores, (they are expensive and their support stinks and their billing is atrocious, I was billed 3 times for the same store in a 2 week period of time). And their Site URLs aren't SEO friendly. Or at least they weren't when I used them.

    Yahoo is a very expensive for a startup, because if you cannot do decent SEO or marketing there is no point in forking out that much for a site. If you are a startup, get an ebay store to start your branding.

    -- Posted by Evil Monkey on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 4:17 PM
  • EM, Is this your full time job?

    -- Posted by tdc on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 5:50 PM
  • Website design I mean.

    -- Posted by tdc on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 5:54 PM
  • Naw I do alot of the backend stuff, but I have dabbled into design.

    -- Posted by Evil Monkey on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 5:57 PM
  • How long ago on Prostores EM? Homestead says they interface with eBay, but I have to commit 6 months at a time. With ProStores the first month is free and I pay monthly so I can drop at any time.

    I've not found any SEO (Search Engine Optimization) programs or 'experts' to work well. They work for a little while, then you are almost back where you started. It was a constant struggle.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 9:35 PM
  • I never use programs for SEO, I use hard work on a monthly basis to keep a decent rank on any website I am hired to work on.

    www.ebay.com/bedfordstore/products/kitchenware/pots would be considered SEO friendly URL. Then you do the work in setting the correct tags.

    But you will notice on some stores it would state: http://www.ebay.com/s/g/e/stejere/.cgi3473927432743892743297432 which is not SEO friendly.


    My concern with using Prostores is the price vs what you could easily do for 10% of what they are charging.

    It was a few years ago, I did find a decent sitebuilder called Incomedia Website Evolution X5. Price is 129.00 but if you email sales, you probably could get it reduced. I do alot of negotiating for php scripts to get them cheaper. There is a trial product though. The features are robust and there are tutorials. It looks very easy to me, but I am very familiar with PHP and MYSQL.

    Check it out and let me know what you think. The sites I saw, looked pretty darn good.

    -- Posted by Evil Monkey on Thu, Jan 31, 2008, at 11:15 PM
  • I agree that it requires hard and persistent work. The few folks I have used had more important clients, so I suffered. I understood, but had to find a better way.

    My knowledge of your world is VERY limited so it is easy to overload my circuits. I would need to stop what I am doing, dedicate time to the project to get the ball rolling. If I don't actively stay involved, I forget what I have learned and it starts all over again.

    That is why I use eBay as a platform to expose my other sites. It takes a little finesse to do it within the eBay guideles and is not as productive as what you do, but it is all I can afford at the moment.

    For those trying to follow this conversation, here are some definitions and links to more info. All of this can be found by Googling the term and adding 'definition' or 'meaning' (without the punctuation marks)

    PHP Hypertext Preprocessor) A scripting language used to create dynamic Web pages.

    MYSQL http://www.techterms.com/definition/mysql

    URL Uniform Resource Locator (Web Address)


    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Feb 1, 2008, at 7:59 AM
Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration: